Corn growers back higher ethanol blends

Source: By Kellan Heavican. Brownfield • Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2021

A group of midwestern corn growers associations is attempting to raise fuel efficiency standards by increasing the ethanol blend.

Nebraska Corn introduced a resolution at the recent Corn Congress calling for 95 RON E15, a 15-percent blend of ethanol to raise octane to help auto makers create cleaner engines.

Jeff Wilkerson with the Nebraska Corn Board tells Brownfield “What we’re trying to do is create a scenario where we can use ethanol to decarbonize the transportation sector.” He says increasing the ethanol blend now could be a stepping stone for the future, “That allows auto makers more time to develop engines.  As we know, they’re planning model year vehicles in advance and it allows us time to work on the infrastructure part as well.”

Jay Schutte, chair of the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, says he supported the resolution with pushback from Illinois but argues raising the standard now is important. “Why not stop that up to a 98RON, E25 or E30 blend? Why not even go further into the future and think about hydrogen fuel cells using ethanol as feed stock.”

Schutte said the resolution in Corn Congress passed by a narrow margin.